Heroic customer steps in to save a baby's life after she started choking on Thanksgiving dinner

Heroic customer steps in to save a baby's life after she started choking on Thanksgiving dinner

Toward the end of last week and over the weekend, I'm sure that plenty of you got to sit around the table with your loved ones and enjoy a pretty good Thanksgiving evening. We talk about Black Friday and eating a ton of food, but spending time with people you love and/or barely tolerate is the true spirit of the holidays.

But one thing we don't talk about enough at Thanksgiving is the generous, altruistic spirit that comes over all of us at the holidays, where we bring happiness to others with our natural kindness. That's what happened at a restaurant in North Carolina, as a random stranger stepped in at just the right time to save a baby from choking.

Hannah Jarvis was celebrating her first Thanksgiving with her seven-month-old daughter Calli and family of eight at a Golden Corral restaurant in Hendersonville. "We were just feeding her some mashed potatoes," Jarvis explained, but suddenly, disaster struck: "She just started gagging all of a sudden. She was choking."

"I had just walked back in from getting some food," Cimarron Waldrup, Jarvis' father (and Calli's grandfather) said of the incident. "I noticed something was going on wrong. They were getting out napkins. I thought she was just spitting up." A waitress, realising the danger, called out for someone - anyone - to help the choking infant.

But as panic started to set in, Waldrup recalled the impeding tragedy, his eyes welling up as he did so. "The folks turned to my grandbaby, and that's when that lady that saved her came up." At that moment, a woman by the name of Deborah Rouse stepped up, and saved the day when all seemed lost.

"This lady named Deborah intervened, and she started performing the Heimlich maneuver on her," Jarvis explained. "She held her down, like this, taking multiple blows to her back. It was miraculous, she started breathing again. She told me her name is Deborah Rouse."

The Heimlich maneuver is actually a complicated techniques intended for adults, but experts say that Deborah Rouse employed a technique better suited for small children and infants, which involves blows to the back. Although Jarvis got a chance to thank Rouse amidst the chaos, she posted to Facebook, hoping to thank her properly.

"If anyone knows who Deborah Rouse is, this lady is a hero!" Jarvis wrote on Facebook, hoping to track Rouse down for her heroics that day.

"If it weren't for this angel, my daughter probably would have been wheeled away in an ambulance today. Thank you for saving my daughter's life and thank you Trish from Golden Corral who helped intervene as well! My family and I can't thank you enough for helping. My daughter is fine and has been seen at the ER and is perfectly happy and healthy now."

Well done to Deborah Rouse, who it turns out, has five kids of her own. This holiday season, more than anything, is about taking notice of the ones we love around us, and everyone involved in this story will be acutely aware of that this Thanksgiving.